Miss Violet Isabel James

Violet James, 32, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was a trained nurse traveling with others aboard Lusitania.  She survived the sinking. On her way to London she met Gladys Bilicke, who had just lost her husband in the sinking and clung on to Violet for comfort. Violet, exhausted from the disaster herself, only grudgingly looked after Gladys. The following is a letter that Violet wrote of her reluctant companionship:
I came along with a party of survivors to London. One of the first-class passengers, an American woman, lost her husband. She hung on to me all the time and she got on my nerves. We went to the Ritz, and she pleaded with me to stay, but feeling as I did, I couldn't, for I wanted sleep. My throat sore - limbs aching. I brought her up, looked after her all along, and considered I had done my duty. However, I hadn't left her long before a special messenger called me back, but my doctor came to my rescue and 'phoned saying I was too ill and must stay in bed for a few days. He came to see me twice yesterday and again today. I have promised Mrs. Billick [sic], to return with her to Los Angeles, California, within the next month, so I shall have to pay you a rush visit. We sail under the American flag next, and will make sure of it, too.
Violet's name appears on the westbound passenger list for the British Cunarder Saxonia entering New York on 4 September 1915, whereas Gladys Bilicke returned to the United States aboard the American Liner Philadelphia on 3 June 1915. Either Violet made a trip to the United States and returned to England quickly thereafter, or she decided not to accompany Gladys back to Los Angeles that June. Perhaps Violet had decided that she would rather sail on a belligerent ship without Gladys than sail on a neutral one with her. Contributors Jim Kalafus Michael Poirer Judith Tavares References Ellis Island. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. 1982. Web. 31 July 2011. <http://ellisisland.org/>. Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down ET Research. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lusitania-lest-we-forget-2.html>

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